How do you file a will in probate if you only have a copy not the original

I need to file a will in probate in Oconto WI Oconto County but I only have a
copy of the will and the lawyer that did the will is no longer in business.

Asked on June 1, 2017 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of most states, it is presumed that if there is no original of a Will, the testator (i.e. the person who made the Will) destroyed it. And tearing it up or otherise destroying it is the legal way to revoke a Will. If no one saw the testator do this and an original Will cannot be produced for probate after the testator’s death, the law considers it a “rebuttable presumption” that it was revoked, even if there is a copy. However, a rebuttable presumption can be overcome but a hearing is generally required. At this point, you should consult directly with a local attorney who can best advise you further after hearing all of the details of the case.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.